Written - Community Asset Transfer Programme - Launch of Partnership with BIG Lottery Fund
I am pleased to announce that I have today launched the official Partnership Agreement between the Welsh Assembly Government and the BIG Lottery Fund to take the Community Asset Transfer programme forward. The programme will be open for applications in October 2009.
On the 18 November 2008, during a plenary debate, I indicated that work was progressing on developing the programme with BIG Lottery Fund. It is an exciting Partnership that we have developed with the BIG Lottery Fund and demonstrates the focus we are placing on investing funds wisely.
A total fund value of £13 million has now been agreed between the parties.
The aim of the Community Asset Transfer Programme will be:
- to build enterprising communities to take on and develop community assets that can provide solutions to the challenges they face;
- to contribute to the regeneration and economic sustainability of communities;
- to promote and strengthen the independence of Third Sector Organisations by enabling social enterprise; and
- to improve partnership working between the public sector, the Third Sector and others.
The Fund will be open for applications in October this year. I would urge any potential applicants to the Fund to contact the BIG Lottery to talk through their ideas.
As some of you will be aware, a complementary Welsh Assembly Government Fund, is the Community Facilities and Activities Programme, which has recently been reviewed to strengthen its regeneration focus. I am keen to ensure that the Community Facilities and Activities Programme and the Community Asset Transfer Programme complement each other.
Therefore, I have ensured that:
- the Community Asset Transfer Fund will provide capital and revenue grants which will be awarded from one source and fund applications involving the transfer of ownership from Public Sector Bodies,
- In addition to providing general capital funding to enhance local community owned facilities, the Community Facilities and Activities Programme will also continue to fund the transfer of ownership (or lease) of an Asset from Private Sector Bodies, with capital only grants awarded being up to £300,000 over 3 financial years.
I would be happy to make an oral statement if Assembly Members wish me to do so, at the first opportunity in the new session.